Janet`s August 2015 letter to the Community



Back in March I talked about walking and praying the Stations of the Cross as a spiritual exercise in journeying that

 might make us a bit more bearable on our holidays, which some of us began looking forward to back in the dark days of the end of winter.  And now the holiday season is here.  So if you’re about to go on holiday, I hope you have a great time, and if you’ve just returned, I hope you had a great time. 


Some of us find holidays more stressful than the daily routine.  At least we know what to expect in the routine, and we don’t have to make complicated travel arrangements or plan for emergencies.  Just plodding on in our groove can seem so much easier.  I realise, too, that some of you will be wondering whether you’ll ever get a holiday.  They are, of course, luxuries and beyond the reach of the vast majority of the world’s population.


Whichever is your situation, we need to remember that, while holidays are luxuries, rest and recreation are absolutely essential for our wellbeing.  The account of the creation in the Book of Genesis, even though we don’t take it literally any more, shows us that even God rested after his work of making the world and putting it in order.  And the Gospels tell us that Jesus taught the disciples about taking time to rest after they returned from their first expedition of preaching and healing (Mark chapter 6, verse 31). 

Without rest and re-creation we become exhausted, stale and, usually, cynical, certainly not examples of the love and joy of God.  So, if our holidays are only an exercise in pleasing other people, or if holidays are beyond our reach, how can we build into our timetable some “getting away from it all” and re-creation time, so that we avoid these negative drains on our energy and witness?  A run round Fairlop Waters?  A day at the beach on a cheap day ticket?  A wander round the National Gallery travelling on our Freedom Pass?  A couple of hours just sitting in St Paul’s Church (ask me – I’m sure we could arrange something!)?  Time to think, to reflect, to take stock.  Time to get out of the normal daily routine and look beyond.  And if we’re yet to go on holiday, how can we make sure the time isn’t just self-indulgence, but also consciously in service of being re-created and re-energised for the life God has for us to live back in our everyday?  It’s worth a thought!

Wishing you all a blessed summer period, and looking forward to your accounts of re-creation!

God bless,  Janet


And while we’re thinking about rest and re-creation, let’s spare a thought for those whose holidays were brutally spoiled in Tunisia: for all who died; for those who were injured; for those shocked and traumatised; for the bereaved; and for those Tunisian nationals, also shocked and traumatised, and whose livelihoods are threatened.  

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